Canon 70-200 f4 USM L or canon 28-135 IS USM?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by patrick_acker, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Currently i have: canon XSi, 430ex, umbrella with wireless lighting, 50mm 1.8, 18-55 IS, and sigma 70-300 4-5.6f (which i do not like at all). This is my equipment but I am just torn between the two lenses, one with IS and USM and the other without IS but with L glass and USM. My 18-55 IS is the standard canon kit lens but looking for somethign wtih a little more zoom and a better autofocus. The 28-135 would replace my 18-55 which i use quite frequently. the 70-200 i think i would use a lot for portraits and def sports. (the 28-135 goes for ~$400 and the 70-200 goes for ~$600 (without IS) f4. I enjoy doing portraits but kind of already have a lens for that (the 50mm 1.8) and would like something to bridge the gap so i know that the obvious answer is get the 28-135 but is the L glass worth the trade off (IS f3.5-5.6 VS. 70-200 f4 L (no IS))? Is the L glass REALLY worth not having IS at that focal length and also having a semi "high" f stop at the 70-200 lens (as compared to getting the 2.8 which isnt an option). I have the money for both but i feel i would use the 28-135 more but need to know if getting the zoom lens is TRULY worth the L glass? Thanks.

    P.S. I am my high school photographer, use my 18-55 a lot but i think i would use a 70-200 f4 L if it was truly worth not having IS...
  2. Have you considered keeping the 18-55 and adding a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/4?
    You could keep the 18-55 for the wider end and non-portrait shooting. Use the Tamron and the 70-200 for portraits. Use the 70-200 for outdoor sports. For indoor sports you'll probably need something besides the f/4 zoom.
    I leave more details for others who actually have the lenses you're asking about.
    DS Meador
  3. 70-200 f4 is a tried and true favorite that you can't go wrong with, used and loved by thousands of professionals for good reason.
  4. You have been using the 18-55mm a lot, so keep it. The Sigma lens that you don't like should be replaced by the Canon 70-300mm IS USM. That's it
    Both the lenses that you are dreaming of are not really needed. But if you want them, get them both because they complements each other, but cannot replace each other. One more for wide, the other for tele.
    Your thought of replacing the 18-55mm by 70-200mm is likely incorrect because you will have a total different field of view
  5. The Sigma lens that you don't like should be replaced by the Canon 70-300mm IS USM. That's it​
    If you want to take a big hit in quality (compared to a 70-200) that's what you should do. No offense, but this is bad advice. The OP is trying to move up in image quality.
  6. Is the L glass REALLY worth not having IS​
    Brett, The OP is not sure to choose L or IS. He didn't say IQ is all he wants. Also, no lens can give a good IQ if it is shaking. Of course, the OP (as anybody else) will make his own choice but it's never clear which choice is really the bad choice, so don't say so
  7. good posts so far. whats OP and IQ mean?
  8. Original poster
    image quality
  9. Have you consider a used EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM? Still no IS, but superior sharpness/contrast/etc and better AF than any zoom lens. Faster aperture, too, and excellent image quality wide open.
    By the way, IS is almost useless for sports -- you need fast shutter speeds.
  10. The combination of IS and fast shutter speeds are key in shooting sports. I use a a Tamron 18-270mm for general purpose photography, but I have also determined that the lens is great in outdoor sports photography.
    For portrait assignments, I use the Tamron 70-200mm, f/2.8, and the image print quality up to 11x14s is just as good as any of the Canon L lenses. I also use a Canon 28-135mm EF-S on a 7D when going for higher resolution and prints up to 16x20.
    I tried to adapt a Carl Zeiss (Hasselblad mount), Planar 80mm f/2.8 T* to the 7D (APC-S sensor) but obtained soft-focus with this lens and other adapted lenses such as Bronica, Olympus and yes... even an old Voigtlander Zoomar lens showed soft-focus. The old lenses adapted to the APC-S sensor cameras greatly lacked tack sharp ability.
    Overall, I would recommend the Canon 28-135mm EF-S for all portrait photography. Keep the 18-55mm for other purposes and backup.
  11. "...I enjoy doing portraits but kind of already have a lens for that (the 50mm 1.8) and would like something to bridge the gap..."
    <p>Which gap is this? What focal lengths do you feel you're missing, or more importantly, which ones do you actually need that are not covered? What are the typical lighting conditions in which you feel you are getting frustrated?
    <p>Looking at your kit, I too think that the weak link is your Sigma. I've used one of those and never dared go beyond 200mm. So bad was the IQ. It's also slow and noisy. You rightly say that you have a portrait lens (50 f/1.8) which on your XSi is more like an 80 f/1.8. Also, there's not much gap between 55mm (on your 18-55) and 70mm (on the 70-300) - So if you're after a lens, I would imagine it will be on your telephoto end. This would make the 28-135 redundant as you would have that focal length covered if, for instance, you went for Canon's 70-300 IS (which is by no means a poor lens). Alternatively, Plan B: save up for one of the excellent 70-200s.
    <p>Once again I reiterate, get what you need. It seems to me you've not figured that out yet, judging by this statement:
    <br>"Is the L glass REALLY worth not having IS at that focal length and also having a semi "high" f stop at the 70-200 lens...i feel i would use the 28-135 more...getting the zoom lens is TRULY worth the L glass?"
  12. I have owned both lenses in the past. If I had to opt for one, I would choose the 70-200 f/4L. It is a wonderful lens and fairly versatile. You could use it for both portraits and sports. However, there is a downside. It is really an outdoor lens. It does not perform well in low light situations. Indoors, for example, the AF will not always work, and a lot of your shots will either be underexposed or blurred. If the sports you are referring to is basketball, I think you may be disappointed.
    However, if you would like this lens for outdoor daytime sports and street portraits, it will serve you well. I would recommend getting a decent used monopod. Wearing a heavy lens like this around your neck for 2 - 3 hours at a stretch can be brutal and the monopod is a great resting tool. Also, a monopod will compensate for the lack of IS. Finally, this will raise your street cred, as you will really look like a professional sports photographer.
    The 28-135 is a good all purpose walk around lens. If I could only had one lens from all those mentioned, the 28-135 would probably be best. You could use it in a wide variety of situations. It will deliver consistently good shots. If you spend the day running around taking all kinds of shots, and only carrying one lens, this will do the trick.
    Don't be too oversold on the L glass myth. Yes L lenses are better lenses than their non-L lens counterparts, but a large part of that is the build quality, (quick AF, weatherproofing, durability, etc.) and not exclusively the "glass", associated image quality. The smart move is to select the lens you most need.
    These are both great lenses, you can't go wrong with either. The good news is that they keep their value. If you purchase on the used market (I shop through Craigslist), and you care for the lens, you can resell it later often for the original price you paid.
  13. Patrick, it's not valid to substitute a 70-200 for an 18-55. You say you want more "zoom," but does that mean you want more zoom range or more "reach" on the telephoto end? Canon has recently released a well-regarded EF-S 15-85 that would give you a broader zoom range on both ends.
    You already own the 18-55 IS, which is admittedly a cheaply built lens, but is still optically quite good. The 28-135 is probably equivalent, optically, to the 18-55. Build is slightly better. However, you're not going to have much on the wide end. The 70-200 f/4 non-IS is a superb lens, but you can't use it instead of the 18-55 IS. Maybe use it in addition to that lens? It's not worth selling your 18-55 IS. You won't get much for it, and it gives you a very useful focal length range.
  14. Alex- I've used the NON IS version of the 70-200 f/4 and never had a problem with use of this lens inside. It focuses well, even at stage events(spot metering) with slide on flash. No blurriness in my images.

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